Expressing one selves in a different language

My intention to start writing my blog in English, was a harsh one. Although we grew up with English and I started to learn it when I was about twelve years old, it is very hard to express one's true feelings and emotions in a language that is not your native one. 

I had that same struggle when I went on holiday with a Colony de Vacances. The first time was to Corsica and I was fourteen years old. I had two years of Frenche and because my dad worked for a French company - Jeumont Schneider - he had the opportunity to send me away on a holiday camp. He already started mentioning it when I was thirteen, but I found I had too little experience with French so he 'postponed' it to 1975. 

It was very difficult for me in the beginning but soon I had a friend - Valerie - and she was not even the one I stayed with before we went to Corsica. My father knew a family close to Paris and we stayed there one week before I left. This family was quit a big one with five children and the oldest girl - Louisette - was supposed to be my 'guide' and friend. But we were quit different from each other and very soon I had another friend and I can remember very well that everybody warned me for her. I do not know why, but we went along very well and I've always been self supporting and I just did what I did and although I longed for home very much, it was a educational time for me and it formed me to being the person I am now. It was also very good for my French. Where before I went away I thought my father spook very well French, when I returned I asked him: What is it you want to say....I can translate....
You learn very quick.

I remember the first night laying in this big white tent with all the other French girls and they asked me to introduce myself. So I started with: Je m'appele Conny et j'habite en Hollande. I do not remember the staff playing a leading role in the fact that I was a foreigner and trying to integrate me into the group. As far as I know, I did that on my own. And after a few days I had quite a group around me. 

Everything that happened during that first holiday as a foreigner between all those French boys and girls went by as a film and somehow I never played a roll in it. I can remember a lot, but I cannot remember I could integrate fully and that was because of the lack of expressing yourself in a foreign language. When I was frustrated I could not tell that in the way I wanted, so perhaps I stayed low. But I remember having a good time and with a load full of experience of the French language and undependability, self support and self esteem, I returned home after five weeks having stayed in France. I think after that I never was the same. Not shy anymore and ready for the world.

When I was seventeen I went for the second time. My father arranged that. Again. This time more mature, more experienced, but still struggling with the language and now of course with older boys and girls in the middle of puberty. Lots of drinking - not me - and smoking - not me - and this time we went to Tunisia. Very strange country, especially at that time (1978). And again I stayed with Louisette the week before we flew to Tunisia but I spend my time with another girl as my friend. I do not recall her name.

So my blog will be sometimes in English but more often in plain Dutch, because when something bothers me I am better to express myself in my native tongue than a foreign one. But you can always choose this pages to be translated in any language you like.....and have a good laugh....:-)

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